Forty Years of Public Economics : A Personal Perspective
This paper presents a personal perspective on the field of public economics, as I have seen it evolve over the past forty years. Starting in the early fifties, microeconomic theory invaded the age-old field of public finance. A central core of this work consists in deriving general qualitative formulae, within the general equilibrium model extended to encompass a public sector, public goods and taxation. That central development is flanked on one side by implementable solutions to practical problems (I refer in particular to public utility pricing, road pricing and auction design) , on the other side by the development of a rich abstract framework (I refer to equilibrium with increasing returns, state-contingent contracts, priority service contracts, ... ). The two flanks should come together, as they did in the early fifties when the theoretical developments grew out of practical applications. Yet, few economists succeed in creatively linking theory to real problems, and our professional organisation fails to promote adequately such contributions and their authors. Next to this emphasis on the interplay of theory and applications, I discuss briefly the success of public economics, its fragmentation into subfields and its relation to macroeconomics. The writing of this paper was prompted by my participation in editing a volume of selected papers by William Vickrey, on his 80th birthday. Frequent references are made to his work, which is exemplary of the perspective presented here.
|Date of creation:||01 Dec 1994|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)|
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/core
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Groves, Theodore & Loeb, Martin, 1975.
"Incentives and public inputs,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 211-226, August.
- Boyes, William J & Happel, Stephen K, 1989. "Auctions as an Allocation Mechanism in Academia: The Case of Faculty Offices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 37-40, Summer.
- William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
- Peter Mieszkowski & Edwin S. Mills, 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 135-147, Summer.
- Jerry A. Hausman & James M. Poterba, 1987.
"Household Behavior and the Tax Reform Act of 1986,"
NBER Working Papers
2120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Herbert Scarf, 1994.
"The Allocation of Resources in the Presence of Indivisibilities,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 111-128, Fall.
- Herbert E. Scarf, 1994. "The Allocation of Resources in the Presence of Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1068, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- William Vickrey, 1948. "Some Objections to Marginal-Cost Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 218-218.
- Tulkens, Henry, 1978. "Dynamic processes for public goods : An institution-oriented survey," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 163-201, April.
- Sandmo, Agnar, 1983. "Leif Johansen's contribution to public economics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 317-324, August.
- John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
- Bohm, Peter, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 135-151, July.
- Dreze, Jacques H. & Arrow, Kenneth & Atkinston, Anthony B. & Basu, Kaushik & Honkapohja, Seppo & Krueger, Anne & Morales, Juan-Antonio & Stern, Nicholas, 1994. "Report of the IEA Committee on a new School of Economics and Economic Development (SEED) in the Third World," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, September.
- Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-926, Sept./Oct.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
- McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
- Richard Arnott, 1990.
"A Temporal and Spatial Equilibrium Analysis of Commuter Parking,"
884, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1991. "A temporal and spatial equilibrium analysis of commuter parking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-335, August.
- Peter Bohm, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Framed Field Experiments 00129, The Field Experiments Website.
- Samuelson, P. A., 1986. "Theory of optimal taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 137-143, July.
- Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1994075. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alain GILLIS)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.